Cameroon Catalyst is an international charity, which focuses on promoting sustainable development in the rural areas of Cameroon. Under the main Water and Sanitation project of the Charity, we are currently developing latrines at the Birmingham Chapter.
The Cameroon Catalyst table on the Societies' Fair
Over the summer two of our members travelled to Cameroon for three weeks. This was primarily a research mission to understand the area our design would be built in and to investigate how the local people feel about it. These trips ensure that designs actually cater to the needs of the users. For example, we want to make sure that they are respectful to any cultural differences that are present.
We had originally planned to produce a communal latrine, which would be placed in villages and target a large number of people. However, the results from the trip showed that the villagers were not keen on the idea of a communal latrine and would prefer smaller private ones in their homes. This has meant that we are now planning to design a private latrine; something easily reproducible and affordable. However, we are still working to build one communal latrine in a town where markets are common throughout the week, which could be maintained by the stall owners. The design is also steadily developing and we have sent over some initial thoughts with members from the charity who are travelling to Cameroon for a few days before Christmas. This will be the first Birmingham Chapter project to be built there, so this is a very exciting time for us!
Our fundraising currently focuses on this project and we are only £1000 away from our target! This year we organised a Krispy Kreme sale at our University, as well as at the WSP office in Birmingham. We also did a presentation while there since it was also World Latrine Day! This allowed us to introduce Cameroon Catalyst to some of the consultants there, as well as giving us the chance to share ideas and receive some really useful advice from experts in the field!
We also have a lot more fundraising events planned for next term. The Chapter is going to run a music night at a local pub near the University. This will involve contacting local University bands and acts to play on the night. We are also really interested in the idea of outreach to nearby schools and we plan on pursuing these activities in the near future.
If you’re interested in joining our society and help us make a difference in Cameroon or locally with the outreach program, sign up on the Guild website, join our group on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Instagram, or email us. You can also find more information about the charity in general and watch our video on YouTube.